Concerts Presented by Don Herak & Family
SPOKANE, WASH. – The Spokane Symphony, together with the Spokane Symphony Chorale, will stage two performances of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 – “Resurrection” – in honor of Gonzaga University’s 125th Anniversary celebration. Concerts are scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 14 at 3 p.m. in Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox (1001 W. Sprague Ave.). Tickets for both performances are available at the Symphony Box Office or by calling (509) 624-1200.
When the New York Philharmonic was looking for an inspiring work to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, it selected Mahler’s masterpiece, a composition often compared to Beethoven’s famous Ninth Symphony, “Ode to Joy.” Begun in 1888, one year after the University was founded, Mahler takes listeners on a journey through the human experience – from sorrow to pure joy, and from birth to resurrection. “Resurrection” is considered a testament to the triumph of the human soul over this world’s tribulations, and its Chorale finale is considered the most uplifting moment in all of the composer’s symphonies. Don Herak and family, on behalf of Gonzaga University, present the concerts.
Symphony Music Director Eckart Preu personally chose the challenging 90-minute piece as a tribute to Gonzaga University during its anniversary year. In a recent interview, Preu speaks of Mahler’s symphony as a near-religious experience. “You go in,” Preu says, “and you come out a changed man.”
Preu conducts the Symphony, which has brought in additional musicians to fill Mahler’s requirements, and the full 90-member Chorale. Guest soloists include soprano Angela Maria Blasi and mezzo-soprano Mary Ann McCormick.
A panel of three experts will explore the musical dynamics of the composition, the historical context of its development and the religious importance of the piece in a pre-concert lecture at 7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 13 in Martin Woldson Theater. Gonzaga faculty Kevin Chambers, chair of the University’s history department, and Joseph Mudd, assistant professor of religious studies, will join maestro Preu in discussing the work.